New Economics Papers
on Business, Economic and Financial History
Issue of 2005‒07‒03
eight papers chosen by

  1. A short history of French spirit of enterprise (from 1780 till date) (In French) By Hubert BONIN
  2. Not guilty? Agriculture in the 1920s and the Great Depression By Giovanni Federico
  3. Early Academis Science and the Birth of Industrial Research Laboratories in the U.S. Pharmaceutical Industry By Megan MacGarvie; Jeffrey L. Furman
  4. Race, Income, and College in 25 Years: The Continuing Legacy of Segregation and Discrimination By Alan Krueger; Jesse Rothstein; Sarah Turner
  7. La economía del Cesar después del algodón By José R. Gamarra V.
  8. The political economy of the growth: the Colombian case during the period 1950 - 2002 By Alexander Cotte Poveda

  1. By: Hubert BONIN
    Abstract: Pessimistic views among French economist, political and scholar opinion givers have often prevailed about the assessment of French economic competitiveness ; that might be explained by negative surveys of the ability of economic elites to adapt themselves to the changes of the environment of competition and of the productive and technological systems. Breakdowns of enterprise spirit could thus explain that periods of sluggishness be imposed to French growth and, globally, that backwardness had been endured when factors of progress were at stake. Our text reconstitutes the overall issues and, then, proceeds, alongside chronological periods, to a large scrutinizing of the validity of these assertions, throughout the 19th and 20th centuries.
    Keywords: enterprise, enterprise spirit, elites, entrepreneurship, growth, innovation, investment, competitiveness, development, Malthusianism
    JEL: N8 N83 N84 N6 M13
    Date: 2005
  2. By: Giovanni Federico
    Abstract: Agricultural distress in the 1920s is routinely quoted among the causes of the Great Depression. This paper challenges the conventional wisdom. World agriculture was not plagued by overproduction and falling terms of trade. The indebtedness of American farmers, a legacy of the boom years 1919-1921, did jeopardize the rural banks, but the relation between their crises, the banking panic of 1930 and the Great Depression is tenuous at best.
    Date: 2005–05
  3. By: Megan MacGarvie; Jeffrey L. Furman
    Abstract: The establishment and growth of industrial research laboratories is one of the key organizational innovations affecting technological progress in the United States in the 20th century. In this paper, we investigate the rise of industrial research laboratories in the U.S. pharmaceutical industry between 1927 and 1946. Our evidence suggests that institutional factors, namely the presence of universities dedicated to research, played a significant role in the establishment and diffusion of private pharmaceutical research laboratories. Specifically, we document that the growth of industrial pharmaceutical laboratories between 1927 and 1946 is positively and significantly correlated with the extent of local university research, after controlling for other observable factors likely to influence the geographic distribution of industrial research. We supplement our core results with case histories illustrative of early university-industry interaction and an examination of the determinants of university-industry research cooperation. Our qualitative historical evidence and analyses of the birth of chemical engineering programs suggest that industry also played a role in influencing university research agendas. We correct for feedback effects from industry to universities using instrumental variables. Overall, our analyses suggest that while the presence of industrial facilities helped shape the direction of university research programs, there was a significant, positive, and causal effect running from university research to the growth of pharmaceutical research laboratories in the first half of the twentieth century in the United States.
    JEL: O32 N00
    Date: 2005–07
  4. By: Alan Krueger; Jesse Rothstein; Sarah Turner
    Abstract: The rate at which racial gaps in pre-collegiate academic achievement can plausibly be expected to erode is a matter of great interest and much uncertainty. In her opinion in Grutter v. Bollinger, Supreme Court Justice O'Connor took a firm stand: "We expect that 25 years from now, the use of racial preferences will no longer be necessary . . ." We evaluate the plausibility of Justice O'Connor's forecast, by projecting the racial composition and SAT distribution of the elite college applicant pool 25 years from now. We focus on two important margins: First, changes in the black-white relative distribution of income, and second, narrowing of the test score gap between black and white students within family income groups. Other things equal, progress on each margin can be expected to reduce the racial gap in qualifications among students pursuing admission to the most selective colleges. Under plausible assumptions, however, projected economic progress will not yield nearly as much racial diversity as is currently obtained with race-sensitive admissions. Simulations that assume additional increases in black students' test scores, beyond those deriving from changes in family income, yield more optimistic estimates. In this scenario, race-blind rules approach the black representation among admitted students seen today at moderately selective institutions, but continue to fall short at the most selective schools. Maintaining a critical mass of African American students at the most selective institutions would require policies at the elementary and secondary levels or changes in parenting practices that deliver unprecedented success in narrowing the test score gap in the next quarter century.
    JEL: I2 J15 J7
    Date: 2005–06
  5. By: Adolfo Meisel; Margarita Vega
    Abstract: The average height of Colombian women increased 8.95 cm between 1905 and 1985 and of men 8.96 cm in the same time period. Thus the country was a success story according to international standards in this respect. The information for the adult height of Colombians born between 1905 and 1985 was obtained from a database with more than 9 million observations constructed with the national ID cards. This implies that the results are indicative of what happened to the overall population. For the pre-industrial era in Colombia, which is before the 20th century, information on height is only available from 1870. The source in this case is the records of the passports issued to Colombian citizens, for which we have obtained about 17.000 observations. The analysis of those records for the period 1870-1919 reveals some striking results. In the first place, the long run behavior of height was stable, unlike what is observed with the national ID card records, beginning in 1905, in which case heights were increasing. The group included in the passport records is much taller than those from the ID card. For the period 1905-1909 the average passport height for men was 168.7 cm compared with 162 cm for national ID cards. In the case of women the former had an average height of 158 cm and the later 150 cm.
    Keywords: Economic History,
    JEL: I12
    Date: 2005–05–31
  6. By: Martha Misas; María Teresa Ramírez
    Abstract: In this paper, we modeled the Colombian long run economic growth (1925-2003) using a tworegime first order Markov switching model. We found evidence of non-linearity in the annual rate of economic growth. The results show that changes between regimes are sudden and sporadic. The Colombian economy remains in the sustainable growth regime most of the time. The turning points from the Markov switching model capture very well the behavior of real output through time. In fact, they identify the four main depressions of the century.
    Keywords: Markov switching regime model,
    JEL: O40
    Date: 2005–06–30
  7. By: José R. Gamarra V.
    Abstract: Desde su creación en la década de 1960, el departamento del Cesar ha recorrido los picos más pronunciados de los ciclos económicos y sociales. En la década de 1970 se cayeron los precios del algodón y con ellos el auge económico con el que empezó el departamento. En la década de 1980 la economía se estancó, y en los noventa la crisis se intensificó. A partir de 1995 empiezan las exportaciones de carbón, el valor de estas exportaciones hizo que la caída de los indicadores económicos del Cesar no fuera tan grave. La minería ha tenido efectos positivos sobre su área de influencia directa por medio de la creación de empleos y regalías. A pesar de la importancia en las finanzas municipales, la ejecución de las regalías no ha sido la más eficaz, y no se han traducido en mayores logros de servicios básicos. Para los mismos años que empezaron las exportaciones de carbón, los indicadores de pobreza en el departamento muestran un desmejoramiento de las condiciones de vida en el Cesar. La situación de servicios básicos, de infraestructura y de educación muestran un rezago del Cesar con respecto al país y otros departamentos de la región. Bajo este panorama se puede ver un proceso de ajuste de la economía departamental en los últimos años. La década de 1990 se caracterizó por la consolidación de la ganadería y el cultivo de palma, la disminución de los cultivos transitorios y el afianzamiento de la miner ía de carbón.
    Keywords: Economía regional,
    JEL: R0
    Date: 2005–07–30
  8. By: Alexander Cotte Poveda
    Abstract: General work planning makes reference to the moment of economic policy and political, social, and institutional forces, in addition to other sociopolitical instability variables, over the definition of the growth path of the country. The general impact on growth will be dependent o nature or crashes, either permanent or transient, and on some economics conditions, such as capital relative intensities of productive sectors, the mobility extent and investment restraints, as well as on social, politic and institutional variable, in addition to the other variables of the new politic economics of growth. In dealing with Colombia, an analysis of economics growth dynamics is made, both at short and long-term, of macroeconomic performance and sociopolitical instability. The work shows that this later factor has influenced growth dynamics, and therefore, political forces, institutional agreements and social instability impact the growth.
    Keywords: Growth
    JEL: C2
    Date: 2004–12–10

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